Locating The True Source Of Labor's Malaise

I read your review of Thomas Geoghegan's book Which Side Are You On? ("Joe Harvard defends Joe Hill," Books, Sept. 2). As a former labor official (Marin County Labor Council, AFL-CIO), I do not believe that he is on the right track. Organized labor--and Geoghegan--can blame Ronald Reagan, the PATCO Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization strike, the Taft-Hartley Act, the Landrum-Griffin Act, and more for the present status of organized labor. And they and their faithful do. But a review of labor history shows that signs of decline were evident as far back as the 1950s. It also shows that the AFL-CIO, at that time, turned away from the local organizations and headed for the halls of Congress. Today, you see the results. It could be time to recognize these causes and stop blaming Reagan.

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